If you’re looking for a first-class gastronomic experience, you’d be hard pushed to find a better location than Split, where gourmet seafood-centric restaurants rub shoulders with homely Dalmatian eateries.
The clue is in the name. Loosely based on La Boqueria market in Barcelona, Bokeria is one of the most popular restaurants in town and the almost ubiquitous answer to the question of where to eat in Split. Located inside Diocletian’s Palace, the interior is stunning – walls covered in bottles of spirits that draw audible gasps from first-time visitors. Fresh ingredients from the nearby market take on a new life on the Mediterranean-inspired menu.
Konoba Kod Joze has been a staple of the Split dining scene for more than three decades, and this is somewhere that gets better and better with age. The menu is full of classic Split dishes, with the catch of the day demanding the most attention. Joze’s Tavern remains pleasingly popular among the local community, in spite of the influx of tourists, meaning an authentic Split dining experience is assured.
Serving fish straight out of the sea (via the kitchen, of course) with a view onto the water, Zrno Soli (meaning ‘a grain of salt’) is the sort of restaurant that visitors to Split dream about before they even land. It’s popular all year round (Zrno Soli is among the few marina restaurants that stay open in the winter), so make sure to book in advance. Frequently lauded as one of the best restaurants in all of Croatia, Zrno Soli is Split cuisine at its finest.
The first olive oil bar in Croatia, there is more to Uje Oil Bar than that crucial ingredient. The food here is as much about comfort as it is quality, managing to tick both boxes in the process. Uje Oil Bar has quickly become a must-visit for foodies, proving once again that Split is a city at the forefront of Croatia’s culinary revolution. The restaurant specialises in Dalmatian comfort food and has a menu that changes seasonally, with signature dishes including mussel soup and home-made ice cream with olive oil.
If you’re coming to Split, you’re almost certainly going to want to eat a top-drawer meal within the walls of the magnificent Diocletian’s Palace. Mazzgoon is the place for this. Self-styled as the most “stubborn restaurant in Split”, the menu is one great homage to the magic of Mediterranean food. Another place that is worth reserving a table well ahead of time, Mazzgoon also has a great selection of Dalmatian wines perfectly tailored to its dishes.
One of just four Michelin-star restaurants in the city, Kadena has a reputation as the most elegant restaurant in Split – and with good reason. The terrace offers some of the finest vistas in the city, views that are accentuated by the thrilling flavours experienced with every bite: a combination of Mediterranean cuisine and molecular gastronomy. The restaurant may not be cheap, but the beefsteak in truffle sauce will leave you in no doubt about the price tag being worthwhile.
When somewhere is described as being ‘in the heart’ of an area, it is wise to take it with a pinch of salt. No such cynicism is required with Augubio Congo, a stylish restaurant in the centre of Diocletian’s Palace, whose name is a reference to the very place in which the Roman emperor spent his final days. This commitment to history continues on the menu, where dishes are cooked in a traditional manner using contemporary techniques. The desserts deserve special mention – they are the sort of sweets that positively sing their way off the plate and onto your tongue – with highlights including lime tart, chocolate parfait with citron cream and Bosnian baklava.
For first-class Mediterranean food, head to ZOI. Named after the Greek word for life, Michelin-star ZOI is renowned for its extensive wine and beer list, and an impressive collection of beverages that all have an edible counterpart – ingredients that come together to create something very special indeed. The views from the terrace are the cherry on this very tasty cake.
The brainchild of restaurateur Zlatko Marinović, Noštromo’s location – right next to the fish market – will give you a good idea of what you can expect to fly out of the kitchen. Classic fish dishes are injected with creativity, from fish kebabs to fried sea anemones. In short, this is fish as you’ve never tasted it before. The walls are covered in intricate pieces of art from the talented minds of local artists, giving the entire experience a decidedly Split feel.
Proof that Michelin-star dining doesn’t need to be stuffy, Konoba Fetivi serves up authentic Dalmatian food that has grown up through generations, such as slow-cooked stews and fried fresh seafood. The prices are extraordinarily good for such a vaunted restaurant (it was awarded a Bib Gourmand in 2019), and as such Fetivi is undoubtedly the best value-for-money restaurant in the entire city.
There are a lot of restaurants hidden in the many winding streets of Diocletian’s Palace, but few embrace that location quite like Štorija – the brainchild of restaurant group Biberon. The dishes are prepared by celebrity chef Ivan Pažanin, so quality is guaranteed. Menu favourites include hand-rolled pasta with truffles and risotto with smoked mussels.